Black Markets

Soaring Black Market for Food Stamps

Participants sell them at a discount

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The black market for food stamps — where recipients sell the federal vouchers for cash — has grown by 30 percent in recent years, the Agriculture Department said in a just-released study.

The findings were discovered after the feds initiated a "covert investigation" in stores, and compared the time periods of 2006-2008 with 2009-2011. The results: Sales of food stamps for cash have dramatically risen, Fox News reported.

In figures, sales of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program vouchers brought in $858 million in cash in the 2009-2011 period, compared to $330 million in the 2006-2008 time frame. The Agriculture Department said the increased cash sales activity reflects the rise in SNAP participation in recent years.